Light resolved around her, the softness of the bed and the dampness of his skin jumped to life beneath her. In the span of a breath she was back in bed with him, back in that gaslit room. The moment she felt him for real beneath her, her body lit up as if it was on fire. The first difference she noticed between his illusion of himself and the reality was the rich, musky scent of his skin. It was like a personal sin, something created just for her, just to tempt her and fill her with heat. This time she welcomed the Samhain-driven need that filled her. Yes, she was throwing herself all in, having faith that everything she had learned was truth. Sometimes in order to reap the reward you wanted most, you had to take a risk. And somehow it didn’t feel like so much of a risk. The burn sliding throughout her body was no illusion, no lie. It was as natural as anything could be.

Kane took in a slow breath, trying to order his thoughts and maintain control when he could barely hear over the noisy thumping of his heart. When she threw her leg over him and settled herself astride him, her sex brushed soft and wet across the center of his belly, the heat burning and beautiful. His sharp senses fed her sweetly aroused aroma to him and he strangled out a groan that marked his tortured conscience and his having reached his physical limits.

“Corrine, you can’t. . make choices. .” He broke off when she laid herself flush with his chest, her hands braced beside his shoulders as she tempted him with the hovering nearness of her ripe mouth.

“You can’t make choices either. You said it yourself. There is no choice here. We are chemical. A reaction meant to be. It’s true, isn’t it?”

“You’re supposed to be—”

“Resting? Healing? You know this will revive me more than anything else.”

Corrine kissed him with a warmly teasing stroke of her mouth. She liked his mouth, with its too-pretty fullness and the distinctive carving of his upper lip set in relief by a few days’ worth of beard shadow. She remembered his taste from earlier and she began to seek it in slow, delighted brushes against his mouth. She was going to take the time to discover the perks of this hunger they shared.

Kane felt the brush of her breasts on his chest, her nipples drawing across pectoral muscles amped with sensitivity to the feel of her. There was nothing like it. Never had been, never would be. It was the sensation created by a complementary chemistry unique only to them. Kane exhaled into her mouth as she nibbled temptingly at him in brief, tasty little kisses.

That was when what she had said finally sank into his hormone-befuddled brain. With a jolt he drew back from her and stared up into her clear green eyes. She was clever and smart, but this was beyond all of that.

“You read my thoughts,” he whispered in stunned delight. “You read my thoughts!”

“Yes,” she agreed simply, as if it weren’t a profound sign of her mind and body awakening to her Druid genetics, as well as their special connection to each other. She shrugged as if she read minds all the time. “That’s how I knew you were telling me the truth about all of this. That’s how I knew why you were bound, Kane. And it’s how I know that you’re suffering terribly without me.”

She kissed him softly, but Kane abruptly jerked free of her again. “So that’s what this is? Some kind of pity fuck, Corrine? If that’s the case, then you can just take your ass off of me right now. I’ll wait until you actually feel something for me, thank you very much.”

Corrine reached to touch his face and he jolted away, but there was only so far he could go, trapped tightly as he was. She caught him between her hands and stared deeply into his eyes.

“I feel the same thing you do. Heat. Need. Craving that’s driving you all but mad. I feel the biological imperative, just like you do. God, if you could feel inside me, Kane!” She was shifting against him, rubbing herself onto him until his belly was wetted by her and her sensual smell was driving into his spinning mind. Sweet Destiny, there was nothing he craved more than knowing what she felt like from the inside. And yet. .

“I know,” he croaked roughly, “I know all of this, Corrine. But you don’t want a man for your body. You want one for your soul. That is what I want to be. Not just this!”

“See now, that’s where you’re wrong,” she corrected him softly as she began to slide herself sinuously down the length of his body. “What I need is both, Kane. A lot of both.” She sighed against his skin as she moved further along, her fingers toying with the already opened denim of his jeans. Next he knew she was stripping the fabric of his pants and briefs away, pushing it past his knees where it wouldn’t interfere with her plans. “I guess you can read my mind and figure out just how long it’s been since I last had sex,” she noted.

“I could,” he rasped. “But I’m a little distracted right now.” He swallowed noisily when she touched the lightest stroke of fingertips up his bared thighs. “And I’m trying to figure out why you’re suddenly willing to be with me like this.”

She laughed, looking at him as if he were simpleminded. “Because I read your mind, Kane. For one little minute I saw everything you were thinking and feeling.” Corrine reached out and touched a fingertip to the bottom of his up-thrust shaft. Slowly, as she spoke, she drew her finger up his hot length. He was scorching the pad of her finger as she tested the texture of his soft skin and hard excitement. That burning level of heat was almost as fascinating to her as the scent of him, rich and male and ready, as it drifted around her. “I saw hours and hours of resistance against something impossible to bear up under. I saw how afraid you were that you’d hurt me. I felt how guilty you feel because of what has happened to me. It was all tumbled together at the very front of your mind, fresh and deeply affecting you.” She reached the tip of his erection and took the time to tease the ragingly sensitive nerves there with brushes of that mischievous fingertip. “Don’t you see? That’s all I’ve ever wanted, Kane. Someone who cares about me more than he does himself.” She looked up at him, a sly smile tilting one corner of her pretty mouth, making his already tight gut clench with fiery response. “Well, electrifying sex would be good too. So let’s see if you can hit two for two.”

“Ah, hell! Tied up?” he ejected in frustration.

“Hmm. Good point. Guess I’ll do all the work this time. You can make it up to me later.”

With an upward glide of warm skin stroking fully against him, she slid herself back into her position astride his hips, and this time she caught him directly between her thighs, the wet heat of her sex stroking suggestively over his pulsing erection.

Kane could hardly bear the sensation after holding himself in check for so very long. It was like a toxic dream materializing into full-bodied reality. He knew she was too weak and damaged to be playing the seductress the way she was, but the truth was that the more they satisfied the demands of nature, the faster she would heal. He couldn’t possibly get any closer than inside of her, and the energy exchanged in a sexual encounter would be phenomenal.

Just having her at last would be phenomenal.


“And in the dawn, sweetheart?” he asked as she began to rain soft, seeking kisses over his face and neck. “Are you going to wake to your world of light and realize you don’t want to live in the night with me? Will you want to run from me then? Loathe me?”

The question gave her pause and she tilted her head to look at him in curiosity. Kane could have easily read her thoughts in that moment, no waiting necessary, but fear gripped him and he couldn’t bear the idea that she would want to shed him like a bad dream if only given half a chance.

“Kane,” she said, soft admonishment lilting out of her as she kissed his mouth with heavenly sweetness. “I’ve always known that in order to enjoy a mate who thinks of me before himself, I would have to do exactly the same in return. No one can earn such devotion without expecting to be required to return it.”

Kane surged up into her kiss suddenly, catching her mouth as deeply as he could, kissing her so hard that he knew she felt the impact her sweetly optimistic vision of their future together had had on him. It was why he’d fallen for her in the first place. Pain and betrayal littered her history, yet she always hoped for the best. . searched for the dream she had longed for, the one she’d had imbedded in her soul when she’d been born for him.

Corrine swallowed down his intensity and, using the lash of her tongue, she stirred up even more within him. His bold taste burned all the way down into her belly and she devoured him in utter starvation. She was needy and stripped clean of energy, and only he could fill her up again. She kissed him until neither could catch their breath. She slid herself over him again and again, absently stroking his hard flesh over her sensitive clit until her entire body was humming with sensitive preparedness.

Kane broke away from her for the breath he needed to shout out in fury. “Damn you, Abram, let me out of these cursed chains and give me my hands!”

The Elder Demon who was preventing his ability to teleport ignored the demand once again. No matter what happened, only Noah’s command would sway Kane’s Siddah. And, of course, Abram had

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